Pulled over by the Thought Police

A connected America must be a civil America

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“America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, ‘cause it’s gonna put up a fight. It’s gonna say ‘You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.’”

– Michael Douglas’ title character in the movie The American President

Two-thirds of Americans in a new poll say America is more divided than it was four years ago.

Here’s one reason.

Beloved former pro football coach Tony Dungy, a gentleman if there ever was one, has been absolutely pilloried this week for admitting in an interview that he wouldn’t have drafted the National Football League’s first openly gay player, “Not because I don’t believe Michael Sam should have a chance to play, but I wouldn’t want to deal with all of it.”

After a fierce social media backlash, Dungy added that his objection wouldn’t be Sam’s sexual orientation, but the media circus that would result.

It’s an odd statement, to be sure, from a black coaching pioneer whose predecessors endured worse. But the firestorm sort of proves his point about today’s media vortex – and validates the poll that cites America’s deepening divisions.

Look, diversity of opinion is one of America’s great strengths. But it might as easily be the end of us, if we let it. If America is to thrive, or even endure, we’ve got to give each other a little more elbow room when it comes to opinions and thinking. It’s not just the civil thing to do, it’s the American way.

As Michael Douglas’ movie character so eloquently asserted, “Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.’”

Tony Dungy didn’t even come close to doing that, and look at the firestorm that encircled him. We need to ease up on each other. An increasingly connected America must also be a civil America.

Orwell’s idea of the Thought Police involved the government. He overlooked the horrifying possibility that we could be the thought cops ourselves.

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Riverman1
90449
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Riverman1 07/26/14 - 06:48 am
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My Basic Instinct

I like Michael Douglas better in Basic Instinct (Sharon Stone, too, heh). He actually has a quote in that movie that fits the situation better.

“Oh, then why don't you get yourself some friendly little therapist and try to work out all that hostility.”

About acknowledging those screaming opposing views at me, My basic instinct is not to engage. It validates them when you respond. They are the ones being uncivil.

Pops
12382
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Pops 07/26/14 - 06:54 am
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We are rapidly becoming

The United States of the Offended.

deestafford
30378
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deestafford 07/26/14 - 07:03 am
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Isn't it ironic that those...

Isn't it ironic that those who yell "tolerance" are the ones who are the most intolerance?

Homosexuals are less than 3% of the population but they weld a megaphone that makes one think they are over 50% of the population and have no right to be offended.

Two things you can't do in today's America...say something negative about homosexuals or Muslims. Christianity and loving America are fail game though.

gaflyboy
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gaflyboy 07/26/14 - 07:35 am
11
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Good article ...

but I take some exception to "It’s an odd statement, to be sure..."

You referred to him as "a black coaching pioneer", but he wasn't speaking as a black or a pioneer. He was speaking as a coach.

I didn't find a single thing wrong with what he said. If I were a coach in the NFL, I would have the same position, especially when we're talking about a 7th round pick.

Where we've come in America is truly sad.

hoptoad
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hoptoad 07/26/14 - 07:40 am
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A coach's job is to build a

A coach's job is to build a team and the team's confidence. He inspires his team to play the best game they can by playing hard and fast. He needs his players to keep their minds on the game and the rules of the game, not on worrying what's PC and that one comment might incite a lawsuit or negative press.

The locker room is probably one of the raunchiest places during and after the game. This is where players cope with a loss, work off stress and celebrate a win.

So I think I understand where Coach Dungy is coming from. Having to deal with the worry of one of the players making "offensive" comments or having the press constantly keeping Sam in the spotlight, distracting from the actual plays and the other team members would not be conducive to keeping your team's mind on the game.

The press would constantly be looking for a wrong move by Mr. Dungy and the team members. This is what I believe he meant when he said he didn't want to deal with it.

avidreader
3455
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avidreader 07/26/14 - 08:06 am
5
1
What Isn't Appropriate?

Tony Dungy -- a gay man breaking into pro football would be a media distraction.
Donald Sterling -- hey babe, don't bring anymore of your African American friends to my team's basketball games.
Al Sharpton -- It's a crime against humanity what those white boys did to Tawana Brawley.
Howard Stern -- while those boys were shooting up Columbine, why didn't they take the time to ______ a few of the girls.

I know I am paraphrasing serious incidents. However, why not let friends, family, and communities decide if a person is deserving of social banishment. Basketball fans in San Diego should be the decision makers concerning Donald Sterling's blatant racist remarks. Do not support the team! Howard Stern was fired, yet he still landed on his feet with Sirius radio. Al Sharpton is viewed as a clown or a prince, and this is the public's decision to make (love him or leave him). How Tony Dungy sees the world of discrimination is his business. ESPN (or whomever) can fire him if they choose, but he will still represent the voice of many of our nation's citizens, just like Sharpton.

I posted a comment on FaceBook concerning the massive influx of immigrant children and how their plight is a huge burden on the public school system. My liberal friends immediately offered up stern scoldings, while my conservative friends offered "likes" and supportive comments. But all of them still remain my friends. It would be a boring world if everyone agreed with me. But, I am entitled to my opinion.

fedex227
11187
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fedex227 07/26/14 - 08:17 am
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Not to vilify coach Dungy, of whom I'm a big fan ...
Unpublished

for his beliefs and what he thinks is best for the team. But some coaches are destined to step up to the plate, like Leo Durocher - "I do not care if the guy is yellow or black, or if he has stripes like a f%#$n’' zebra. I'm the manager of this team, and I say he plays." Others are not. It's just that simple.

Pond Life
17682
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Pond Life 07/26/14 - 08:20 am
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Weigh the pros and cons.
Unpublished

Weigh the pros and cons. Having him on the team WILL be a media distraction. If he were better than 7th round draft pic....it may be worth it. It would be irresponsible to the fans and the rest of the team to introduce the distraction for who will most likely be a mediocre player at best.

carcraft
27849
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carcraft 07/26/14 - 08:32 am
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This garbage is absolutely

This garbage is absolutely ridiculous . Mr. Dungy,s job as coach is to win games. When Mr. Dingy was asked a question he answered honestly. As actor Jack Nickolson said in another movie "the truth, you can't handle the truth ". Now if the owners of Mr. Dungy's team wanted to social engineer I am sure Mr. Dungy would have informed the owners of the cost, distractions and disruptions to the team.

deestafford
30378
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deestafford 07/26/14 - 08:47 am
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Do y'all remember when we had the Super Bowl....

Do y'all remember when we had the Super Bowl with two black coaches, Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith, met and after the game Coach Smith was interviewed?

The media asked him about two black coaches meeting in the Super Bowl for the first time and he diverted his answer to what a great stage it was for two coaches (he did not say black coaches) to meet on the field and showcase their shared belief in Christ. Of course, that was not what the media wanted to feast upon.

freeradical
1144
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freeradical 07/26/14 - 09:17 am
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Nothing " Civil " about Pro Sports

Lets understand the increasingly clear fundamental beliefs of the

majority involved in pro sports .

They just handed a " fan " drooling in court with half his brain

removed a few million dollars to sweep the increasingly commonplace

brutal violence and murder that takes place under the rug.

A fan beaten to a vegetable state in broad daylight in the midst

of dozens of other insensate moral zombies more concerned about be

ing first in line for bread at the circus than to get involved in stopping

the slaughter .

The slithering humanity in the stands doing their best to emulate

the murderers , druggies , rapists ,women beaters , child molesters , etc,etc,etc,

on the field .

The police in New York City declared that the second biggest criminal

problem posed as a result of the superbowl coming to town was the

trafficking of minors for the sexual gratification of the moral refugee coward

child molesters attending the event .

So much so that special billboards were put up all over New York to

bring attention to the sexual slavery of children connected to the

event .

An organization of fatherless , morally diminished cowards, abounding

in darkness & lawlessness .

Little wonder Mr. Sam seeks to be delivered into their midst .

Truth Matters
7825
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Truth Matters 07/26/14 - 10:37 am
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Having bought Dungy's book,

Having bought Dungy's book, "Quiet Strength" for our son but couldn't put it down until I had read it, it's easy to know this man's heart. Too often we judge people by their words without any idea if who they are and what they stand for.

I totally get what he meant, however inartful his words may have seemed to some. My spouse included. I was reminded that the coach that hired "42" was willing to tolerate the distractions and look where we are because he did.

Things are not as black and white (not a reference to race) as we tend to make them.

Pond Life
17682
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Pond Life 07/26/14 - 10:39 am
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"42" wasn't a 7th round pick.
Unpublished

"42" wasn't a 7th round pick.

Pond Life
17682
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Pond Life 07/26/14 - 10:42 am
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Food for thought. These two
Unpublished

Food for thought.

These two quotes are from the same person.

" Too often we judge people by their words without any idea if who they are and what they stand for."

"No! But you did. This prove that the first thought that came to your mind was RACE."

Hard to believe, huh?

Truth Matters
7825
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Truth Matters 07/26/14 - 11:26 am
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PL, do you get the point?

PL, do you get the point?

Pond Life
17682
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Pond Life 07/26/14 - 11:32 am
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Yes. Apparently it can happen
Unpublished

Yes. Apparently it can happen to everyone. And when it's realized, apologies could be in order.

Truth Matters
7825
Points
Truth Matters 07/26/14 - 11:44 am
3
4
PL, Let it go, and move on if

PL,
Let it go, and move on if you can.
It is painful to see you continue to twist yourself into a pretzel, figuratively speaking, because I challenged you for making an assertion about the race card rather than seeing that what those persons had in common was their political party.

One day I accused Dixieman, I think that is who it was, of playing the race card and had to eat crow. When I went back and reread his post I was wrong. I did not spend another week trying to convince myself and others that he was wrong and that I was right. In fact, he may not have ever seen the apology, because he never brought it up.

Accusing people of playing the race card and calling someone a racist are both equally unproductive and are about as helpful as a spouse accusing the other of nagging. Everything shuts down after that.

Now the challenge is, can one call out people whom you usually agree when they do it, as readily as one calls out those whom one disagrees.

Truth Matters
7825
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Truth Matters 07/26/14 - 11:48 am
2
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PL, My 12:26 comment was in

PL,
My 12:26 comment was in response to your 11:39 am comment.

This is why I keep advocating for a reply button directly under the comment because it can get confusing. By the time I posted my response to your first comment you had posted another one.

Funny but also confusing. I hope we are straight now.

Pond Life
17682
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Pond Life 07/26/14 - 11:50 am
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Nor did I spend a week
Unpublished

Nor did I spend a week convincing mysrlf of anything. I just noticed the hypocrisy and pointed it out. So tell us honestly. When you said "I wonder why that is", what were your thoughts? Why do YOU think it is?

Truth Matters
7825
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Truth Matters 07/26/14 - 11:51 am
3
3
"Yes. Apparently it can

"Yes. Apparently it can happen to everyone. And when it's realized, apologies could be in order."

If that is an apology to me, I accept.
Let's go in peace.

Pond Life
17682
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Pond Life 07/26/14 - 11:54 am
4
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Wow. Don't even realize who
Unpublished

Wow. Don't even realize who should apologize for their hypocrisy.

Truth Matters
7825
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Truth Matters 07/26/14 - 11:55 am
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"Pulled over by the thought

"Pulled over by the thought police."

To a degree isn't that what Sean does? He doesn't tell us what to think but he polices "how" we say it.

And I am fine with that.

Pond Life
17682
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Pond Life 07/26/14 - 11:55 am
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I wonder why liberals can
Unpublished

I wonder why liberals can never admit fault. Especially at the federal level.

Pond Life
17682
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Pond Life 07/26/14 - 12:02 pm
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And if you notice, I never
Unpublished

And if you notice, I never accused you of anything. I asked a question......to which YOU followed up by saying that I played the race card. So who should apologize?

carcraft
27849
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carcraft 07/26/14 - 12:07 pm
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Branch Rickey, who signed

Branch Rickey, who signed Jackie Robinson was a connoted Christian. Yes once again issues of race are confronted by Christians. Oh well. Mr. Dungy WASN'T ask if the disruptions and circus are worth going through to brake the "gay barrier. Mr. Dungy was asked if he would have drafted him. Two differant questions. Branch Rickey knew there was going to be a storm over Jackie Robinson and had the grace and courage to face it. I am sure Mr. Dungy is of the same caliber as Mr. Rickey.

carcraft
27849
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carcraft 07/26/14 - 12:08 pm
2
1
Branch Rickey, who signed

Branch Rickey, who signed Jackie Robinson was a connoted Christian. Yes once again issues of race are confronted by Christians. Oh well. Mr. Dungy WASN'T ask if the disruptions and circus are worth going through to brake the "gay barrier. Mr. Dungy was asked if he would have drafted him. Two differant questions. Branch Rickey knew there was going to be a storm over Jackie Robinson and had the grace and courage to face it. I am sure Mr. Dungy is of the same caliber as Mr. Rickey.

GnipGnop
12692
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GnipGnop 07/26/14 - 12:20 pm
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seems like

The media proved his point...

Bizkit
34323
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Bizkit 07/26/14 - 12:20 pm
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Sean keeps it civil that's

Sean keeps it civil that's it.

Bizkit
34323
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Bizkit 07/26/14 - 12:23 pm
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Funny how society can force

Funny how society can force private citizens out of Mozilla, or cause a man to lose his sports team ,but we can't pressure any politician to bend to any public figure. Look at Obama he could care less what any American thinks Dem or Rep

burninater
9799
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burninater 07/26/14 - 12:50 pm
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Where are the "thought

Where are the "thought police" in this?

Dungy said what he said. Some people liked it, some didn't.

Folks on social media said what they said. Some people liked it, some didn't.

Everyone exercised their speech rights, and none of them have been arrested for the content of their speech.

Orwellian? Please. Y'all like to pretend "everything you don't like" = "fascist police state". Get over it. People have opinions, and they are free to express them.

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